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Milo Brzák attending ISA World Para Surfing Championship

The ISA World Para Surfing Championship is about to happen on the 5. 12. 2022 in Pismo Beach, California. The Czech Republic will be represented again thanks to Milo Brzák, who found the time to answer a few questions just before boarding the plane to go there.

Hi Milo, thank you for your time. Let me start with a rather technical question. Para surfing vs. Adaptive surfing, is there any difference? Or is it just a change in the terminology since surfing is planned to be included in the Paralympic games?

Hello Matyáš, greetings from Christchurch airport, NZ, just before flying to Cali! Well, it is not a big deal, but rather a play on words and simplification. Surfing is still the only “extreme” sport for the handicapped, which made it so far, which is unbelievable. It is already more or less clear, that it will happen in LA in 2028.

Great, thank you so much for the clarification! You will attend the world championship again in a couple of days. What made you do so in the first place those 5 years ago when you took part in it for the first time?

I guess it was primarily about meeting surfers with a similar handicap. I was hoping to learn from them and use that knowledge to surf better back in Indonesia.

How would you describe your experience from the past world championships? Were you happy about your results? What about the competition - how strong is it and has it changed throughout the past years?

Para surfing is moving forward incredibly fast. There have never been as many participants as this year. You can see it mostly in countries where the support works differently than, for example, in the Czech Republic. The championship will be quite different for me this time. During the past few months, I have been surfing in a wetsuit in New Zealand, unlike the previous years when I was preparing in Indonesia. It is also taking place in a new spot - Pismo Beach. Thus, I can not really compare it and I take this year as a new starting line.

Participating in ISA competitions is not the only thing you do for Para Surfing. Could you tell us something about your other activities?

With Adapted, we organized two surf courses for Czechs. In 2019, I organized the first Indonesian competition Bali Adaptive Pro with my friend Red. I tried to continue developing my projects in Southeast Asia but Covid took pretty much everything I had and built. But everything is moving forward now once again. I have just settled in Christchurch, New Zealand. Last week we held our first Adaptive Surf Course here in the South Island and it was a blast. We have already been contacted by several organizations and city districts that are keen to help with the further development of our sport, which is great.

It is truly inspiring to see that even as a surfer from the Czech Republic, you can participate in the development of world surfing. How do you see your future in this sport? Do you have any plans and goals that you’d like to achieve?

My goal at the moment is to finally get a good session in Raglan and Taranaki on the North Island! Which is a bit more challenging now because of work. It was a little different in Bali :)) I would like to help Czech Surfing to have a good background and quality support from the state. I do have some bigger plans too, but I can't reveal them because they need their time.

Great, we'll all definitely keep our fingers crossed that it all works out! And now let's go back to this year's championship. How did you prepare for it and what are your goals for this year?

I cooperated remotely with Adam Žáček. He is also from Moravia and I can’t tell you what I enjoy more - his great teaching skills or the Wallachian he speaks. The goal is pretty clear, a new starting line, thinking more than just getting the most out of it and taking lessons from everything for further development. Despite being 36, I want to improve, and if I can do so surf skating in pools, why couldn’t I work on my surfing with such a great coach?

This year, you are representing the Czech Republic all by yourself, unlike in the past. Why is that? And can we do something about it in the future?

Well, when it comes to participating in such events, the motivation of individuals is the key. For a long time, I was looking for a way to motivate others to do what they enjoy. But in the end, the enthusiasm decreases, people have other priorities and it costs me the energy that I want to devote mainly to surfing and earning money to be able to surf at all. If there was an interest to organize a Czech Para surf course in Europe, I would be very happy to help!

How do you personally manage to organize such an expedition? I'm assuming you're not a professional athlete and you have to juggle it all with a “normal” job, so it's probably not easy.

To be honest, it is quite challenging. Compared to other countries where support from the state works well, this year I was able to make it only thanks to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, who provided me with a grant for the plane ticket, and thanks to your support, too. But everything else is up to me. Still, I'm incredibly grateful for it. Our Riviera House in Bali is a history that will not come back. But it is necessary to move on and I am glad that I became a part of a great company Kathmandu, which appealed to me so much that I moved all the way to Kiwiland to join them!

We admire your determination. Thank you so much for this interview, fingers crossed for the competition!

Thanks, mate, may the Vltava river flow nicely for your home break!

Watch Milo’s performance at the world championship on the ISA webpage or on our Instagram, starting from Monday 5. 12. Should you wish to contact Milo directly, you can do so on Instagram or Facebook of his project Adapted.


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